It’s Hell to pick a Card!
Valentine Store
Was it Susan Keepers? He wasn’t sure.
Her name stuck in his head.
Focus! Concentrate on the Hallmark Cards!
Masses of them.
(Some talk and play music.
$3.50 each at a minimum).
Someone else’s employed sentiment.
Was it Kindergarten or first grade?
She had red hair and wore saddle shoes.
He waived to her on his way to school.
Stopped and walked his bike next to her.
His Schwinn “Roadmaster Transport”
Blue streamers, a battery horn
Polished chrome fenders.
What was that stuff he used to polish the chrome?
The same smell as the paste they used to
Mate the Doily to the Red paper
To make his first Valentine, for Susan Keepers.
What dreams did he hold for Miss Keepers?
A pre-puberty Valentine.
A love without sex or commitment.
Just held by Paste Paper and Doily
A heart not yet pondering the possible?
OK BUY ALREADY!
Buy a Valentine card.
Make it good.
Say “I love you” or you’re screwed.
***
It was easy to love Susan Keepers.
Grown ups require a higher degree of difficulty.
****
He’s wearing “not yet purchased” reading store glasses
With an attached antitheft bracket,
Spotting a $5 card with a talking cartoon clown.
What the hell did this one suggest?
Let’s laugh at relationships?
Laugh at Life? Laugh at an old fool buying a $5 card?
(10 times his allowance when he Valentine’d
Susan Keepers with paste and doily).
Were his “post Susan Keepers” Valentines
“Combat pay rewards” and “thank you’s” for sex?
While he sang:
What’s love got to do with it,
do with it, do with it.
These questions often crowded the shrinking brain
of this old man finally seeking clarity.
But for now he lost this reminiscent romantic confusion
To the drug store clerk.
His inner voice had screamed:
“Buy the damn card,
Tell her… You love her.”
MAN UP
Because it is the truth:
SHE  IS SPECIAL
YOU DO LOVE HER IN EVERY POSSIBLE WAY and
YOU ARE SO LUCKY TO HAVE HER IN YOUR LIFE.
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